The Lebanese writer Amin Maalouf.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The prominent Lebanese-born writer, Amin Maalouf, was caught in a maelstrom of slurs by the Lebanese BDS movement after giving an interview to the Israeli TV channel i24 News last week.
Speaking on i24 News on Thursday, Maalouf stressed the importance of using culture as a conduit for normalization between Israel and Arab states, touting the dialogue between the cultures in the name of art, peace and humanity.
Following the controversial interview, the Lebanese BDS movement issued Wednesday a statement calling on Maalouf to apologize for speaking to the Israeli outlet.
"A quick search about this TV channel reveals that it was founded by Patrick Drahi, the owner of Hot, an Israeli cable communications company, and the richest man in the Zionist entity, according to reports," the statement read.
"This channel's headquarters are located in Jaffa. When the news channel was established, its CEO Frank Melloul announced that he will "fight prejudices against Israel." The channel's declared aim is to "bring Israel to the world and bring the world to Israel," the BDS movement stated.
"Did Amin Maalouf know all these facts when he agreed to be interviewed? We are sure that Maalouf does not know these facts, because if he knows, it means that he uses his reputation, his creative abilities and his membership in the French Academy to help this TV station "bring Israel to the world," the statement further read.
"By giving his consent to give an interview to this channel, Maalouf whitewashes the role that this station, with the rest of the Israeli media, performs in supporting the atrocious Israeli policy," the Lebanese BDS movement said.
"If Maalouf did not understand the identity of the station, he ought to apologize for his mistake to the Palestinian and the Lebanese people, and to the entire Arab nation," the statement concluded.
Amin Maalouf is an author and journalist who was born in Beirut in 1949 and moved to France in 1976, where he continued his career as a writer and won several French literature awards.